We’re looking for 800-1500 word stories for our SHORTS department to run in June, July, and August issues of The California . Magazine
We’ll be making assignments for June by early next week, so if you have a June idea to propose, you’ll hear back from us very quickly.
As you’ve probably noticed, most SHORTS are one-scene stories. A brief encounter with someone fascinating. A dispatch from the site of a surprising phenomenon. A conversation-rich afternoon spent with someone relevant in the culture right now. A narrative that explores or explains some timely idea.
Tips: All SHORTS must be based on a reported scene — observed, or reconstructed through interviews. You should give us a sense in your proposal what that scene might be. Pieces must be set in California, the West, Asia, or Latin America. Timeliness isn’t necessary but we do really like timely proposals. We’re a general interest magazine, so we’re interested in all topics. Funny is always good. All stories must be written for a national audience.
Things to avoid: We don’t really assign history pieces. We're not into anniversaries as news pegs. We enjoy a distinctive first-person voice in reported pieces but we generally don’t publish memoirs or personal essays. We can’t consider fiction at this time. We don’t assign service journalism: articles about where to travel, how to learn some skill, where to eat, where to shop. All of these genres can be great. They’re just better suited to other outlets.
Please send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to hear from you.
Doug (@dougmcgray )
Editor in Chief
Editor in Chief